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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk along the Colonnade of the White House, Sept. 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

The bidding war for Barack and Michelle Obama’s post-White House books is over, and Penguin Random House has emerged the winner. They won the worldwide rights to both books after what a New York Times report described as “a heated auction among multiple publishers.”

Penguin did not disclose specific terms of the deal. But the word on the streets is that it is most probably an 8-figure deal. Industry insiders say that some of the opening offers ranged from 18 to 20 million, so it is very likely that the winning offer exceeded that.

The Obamas have had a long relationship with Penguin. They published Obama’s previous bestselling books and Michelle Obama’s book on her experience running a garden in the White House.

Here is what Markus Dohle, henchman at Penguin has to say about the deal: “We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama…With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and every day, with the books we publish at Penguin Random House, we strive to do the same. Now, we are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs. Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance.”

The Obamas are always about service, so it comes as no surprise that they plan on giving part of their earnings to charity. Penguin will also “donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books to disadvantaged children, and Open eBooks, the Washington-based partner for the 2016 White House digital education initiative.”

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Post image by U.S. Embassy New Delhi via Flickr.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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